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Well, me, anyway.

The tomato seeds have started sprouting, which signals when I sow the other things for indoor starting. In this case, castor beans (Ricinus communis) ‘New Zealand Purple’, butterfly peas (Clitoria ternatea), Nicotiana ‘Chocolate Smoke’, and cucumbers (Cucumis sativus). It doesn’t matter how many times I do it, I get such a rush when my seedlings sprout.

I’m a little nervous about the cucumbers because the last time I grew them, they got a huge infestation of striped cucumber beetle (Acalymma vittatum). So I planted no cucurbits at all for two years, and this year I’m crossing my fingers it works. Despite this, I’m trying two varieties: ‘Muncher’ and an heirloom variety called ‘Lemon’.

But! I’ve also been floating because this week I finally got my patio fountain set up. I’ve never liked the prefabricated ones available at the garden centres…I dunno, they look as humdrum or fake as they are, I suppose. So fully intending to one day make my own, I’d been gradually collecting and making various bits and pieces over the past couple years.

FountainJug1 FountainJug2

The container is a planter I got half-price when Target closed down earlier this month. Or was it last month? It’s about two feet high, a foot square at the top, and tapers in toward the bottom. It was just an idea to use it for a fountain when I got it, but the more I thought about it, the better I liked it. It’s half filled with stones for stability and internal support (and because I have lots of stones in my soil). The pump and tubing I got a couple years ago, when I also got another pump for a small tabletop fountain (also cobbled together from old glass items).

The jug has the most interesting story. Many years ago, a family member went on vacation to Costa Rica and brought back a touristy jug of coffee-flavoured liqueur. It sat there for ages until we opened it…or tried to. It had been there so long the cork had rotted and broke when we tried to pull it out. Half the cork is still inside the jug. After the liquid contents had been…disposed of…I drilled a hole in the bottom. By complete coincidence, my glass/pottery drill bit creates a hole just wide enough to snugly fit the fountain tubing though.

Finally, the jug is sitting on a base of cement. I just took an old plastic container, the sort that mushrooms come in at the supermarket, filled it with cement, pressed the jug in at an angle, and waited for it to harden. Then it got unmolded and voilà, perfect support for the jug.

I haven’t decided yet if I’ll add a couple small floating plants when the weather warms up more; I kind of like how simple and clean it looks right now. Some might call it boring. I call it uncluttered.

But now I’ve been bitten by the water feature bug and plots are already afoot to make a shishi-odoshi (souzu) and maybe an aboveground suikinkutsu. (These are traditional Japanese water features that add a distinct acoustic element to the garden.)

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